Italian cuisine is based on frugality. If it can be avoided foods nothing goes to waste. The simple peasant loaves of bread that we know mostly as Italian bread traditionaly made have little to know preservatives in them. On average they would last a day and the second day they would start to stale and harden.
What do you do with bread when it loses its soft freshness? The panzanella salad is a salad that uses old bread as its main ingredient. In the US we tend to call these crusty chunks of bread croutons, but that tells us nothing of what a true panzanella salad can be.
1 head of red leaf lettuce
6 pieces of bread (used Italian Wheat for this)
small jar of artichokes (quartered)
1/2 medium red onion (thinly sliced)
3 roma tomatoes (cut into 8ths)
1 clove garlic
8 leaves basil (chiffonade)
Red wine vinagrette
Cut bread into chunks, then mix with salt, pepper, chopped garlic, and olive oil. Cook at 300 for till fully dry (stirring every 10 minutes).
In a mixing bowl mix bread, artichokes, onion, tomatoes and basil with enough vinagrette to moisten. Serve over chopped lettuce.
Red wine Vin ingredients (if you choose to make your own):
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoon italian herbs
salt to taste
In a small bowl place garlic honey and vinegar. Mix well with a hand blender (this can also be done in a upright blender). Drizzle olive oil into with blender running. Once it is all incorporated mix in herbs and salt. If the dressing is too acidic, honey can be added to sweeten.
Time for a pint…
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